Understanding Mobility Loss in Dogs

5 Ways to spot the early signs of mobility loss in your pet

1. Difficulty StandingSenior dog difficulty standing

Often the first sign of pet mobility loss is struggling to stand from laying down. A simple rear support leash can give your pet the boost they need to stand up.

2. Sudden Loss of Balance

Another early sign of mobility changes, older dogs may sway or stumble suddenly when standing or going to the bathroom. 

3. Needing Help on the StairsStairs

Reluctance to use the stairs may mean your dog needs your help. Aching joints, muscle loss, or weakening strength can make stairs a challenge for older pets. They may need extra support to safely and confidently navigate stairs.

4. Difficulty Getting In and Out of the Car

Jumping in and out of your car was never a problem, but suddenly your dog seems scared to try on their own. Whether due to aching joints, arthritis pain, or loss of strength older dogs may suddenly be unable to climb in and out of your vehicle without assistance.

5. Scraping Nails or Dragging PawsKnucklingPaw_600px

Mobility loss in senior dogs begins in the back legs. You may even hear this happening before you see it. 

During your daily walk, listen for scraping nails on the pavement. This may happen only occasionally. Be sure to also check your dog's paws after walks. Uneven wear on your dog’s nails is often a sign your dog is struggling with their paw placement. Other dogs may scrape the
tops of their paws, leading to patches of missing fur or even scrapes and wounds.